Evaluation of aflatoxin M1 and nutritional content in Kosovo’s market cheese samples

Arieta Camaj Ibrahimi, Bajram Berisha, Hata Dibrani Sopjani, Aferdita Camaj Isa, Shyhrete Muriqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ubiquitous presence and potent carcinogenic effects of aflatoxins, a group of mycotoxins, pose a significant threat to global food safety, especially within the dairy sector. This research aimed to evaluate the prevalence and distribution of Aflatoxin M1 in diverse cheese varieties within Kosovo’s markets in 2022 and discern potential correlations with cheese types, processing conditions, and nutritional parameters to enhance understanding and ensure the safety of dairy products. In the latter half of 2022, a total of 93 different types of manufactured cheese samples from 15 different countries were analysed for Aflatoxin M1 toxin content using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. The results of the research indicate that several countries have exceeded the concentration of 0.05 ug/kg for Aflatoxin M1, set as the maximum tolerable limit for milk and milk products in many countries. Notable, cheese samples from Albania exhibited substantially (p=0.000) higher levels of Aflatoxin M1 compared to other nations. The results showed that the Aflatoxin M1 concentration did not exhibit statistically significant variations based on the regulated total fat content (p=0.902), carbohydrate content (p=0.741), protein concentration (p=0.298), or salt content (p=0.122) within the cheese. The results demonstrated that Aflatoxin M1 levels were not significantly (p=0.926) affected by cheese consistency. While different starter cultures were associated with varying Aflatoxin M1 concentrations, these differences were not statistically significant (p=0.472). Similarly, ageing time did not exert a significant (p=0.691) impact on AFM1 levels, as concentrations remained relatively consistent across different ageing periods. These findings provide valuable insights into the variations in Aflatoxin M1 levels in cheese samples among different countries. They highlight the importance of regulatory measures and continuous monitoring to ensure food safety and adherence to maximum allowable limits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Horizons
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Aflatoxin M1 contamination
  • cheese types
  • dairy product safety


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